The Daily Record 15 November 2005
MUSEUMS OF THE MACABRE
MUSEUM bosses in Glasgow are handing back the preserved heads of three 19th century Maori warriors to New Zealand. The grisly tattooed remains, known as the Toi Moko, had never been seen by the public. But there are other gruesome which can be viewed in our museums, says CRAIG McQUEEN
WALLET OF WILLIAM BURKE WHEN grave robber William Burke was hanged in Edinburgh in 1829, a wallet was allegedly made from skin taken from the back of his neck.It is on show at the Anatomy Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons in the city where other exhibits include a set of "Waterloo" dentures, made of teeth plucked from dead soldiers.
BODY WORLDS EXHIBITION BODY WORLDS EXHIBITION THE undisputed king of grisly exhibitions has to be Professor Gunther Von Hagens. The anatomist shocked the world by exhibiting corpses and body parts. The exhibition - including a grisly chess player - was banned from the Edinburgh Festival two years ago but was a hit in London.
BLACK PUDDING WITH A DIFFERENCE GLASGOW artists John Beagles and Graham Ramsay have a way with food. The pair became notorious for an art exhibition which featured black pudding made from their own blood. The duo were even set to hold a cooking demonstration on the unlikely "delicacy" before environmental health officers wisely-stepped in. But, like all good chefs, they had prepared some earlier. Their black puddings have appeared in exhibitions everywhere.
TSAR NICHOLAS II'S BLOODSTAINED SHIRT OUR Royal Family may not have enjoyed the best of luck but they led a charmed existence compared to their Russian relatives. Edinburgh's Royal Museum recently played host to an exhibition on Nicholas, his wife Alexandra and their five kids, who died in the October Revolution. It included the shirt he was wearing during an earlier assassination attempt on a visit to Japan in 1890.
MANCHESTER'S ABORIGINAL SKULLS LAST year, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow agreed to return a collection of Maori skulls to New Zealand. The same year, Manchester Museum handed back the skulls of four Australian Aborigines. Their descendants wanted the bones back as Aborigines believe spirits cannot rest until their bones have been laid in native ground.
STRATHCLYDE POLICE MUSEUM A CONTENDER for Scotland's grisliest museum has chilling exhibits that range from a maniac's home-made garrotte to a serial killer's weapons. The arsenal includes knives, swords, pistols and shotguns and the home-made weapons fashioned by killers Robert Mone and Thomas McCulloch when they escaped from the State Hospital, Carstairs.
DAN DONNELLY'S RIGHT ARM THE Hideout pub in Kilcullen, County Kildare, isn't your usual Irish boozer. As well as the Guinness pumps, until recently the bar also featured the right arm of legendary boxer Dan Donnelly. The body of the 19th century fighter was stolen by grave robbers, and when it later turned up locals decided to keep a souvenir.
MARC QUINN'S UNUSUAL SELF-PORTRAIT THE artist took five months to extract nine pints of his own blood which he used to make a life-size cast of his head. The model gave him instant notoriety and has been displayed all over the world. He's gone on to make other works of art using different bodily fluids.
MET'S SECRET COLLECTION THE Metropolitan Police's famous Black Museum is a secret collection of gruesome items associated with infamous crimimals. One features a killer who died after he was captured by German police. When the Met asked for his fingerprints the Germans sent his forearms.